A decision to take York’s Full Council online is an act of desperation and could be unlawful, the leader of the city’s Conservatives says.
As we reported earlier, tomorrow’s meeting is now being held remotely after a Covid outbreak among councillors.
While the ruling Lib Dem and Green coalition supported the move, the Labour and Conservative leaders did not.
Tonight (Wednesday), Conservative Group leader Cllr Paul Doughty said it was the wrong decision.
He said: “The Conservative Group strongly oppose the moving of Full Council and to online rather than in person, particularly at such short notice.
“I have asked the monitoring officer at City of York Council to provide the legislative powers that allows for this as I believe it may be unlawful.”
Cllr Doughty added:
Regardless, it seems the Liberal Democrats have ‘encouraged’ the chief operating officer into making this decision because several members of their group have Covid.
The correct procedure would be for those members to have stayed away from the meeting in the same way anyone unwell would.
This smacks of sheer desperation by the Lib Dems and I don’t understand how they can have the audacity to just abort formal democratic meetings.
They must be concerned that voting at the meeting may not have gone their way.
Online meeting votes do not hold legal power and therefore the Chief Operating Officer can handily overrule any democratic decisions deemed ‘wrong’. The York public deserve much better than this.